The words “classic car” might make you think of a beautiful vintage Mini or Mustang. But from a legal perspective, almost any car can become a “classic car” once it reaches a certain age.
How Old Does a Car Have to Be to Be a Classic Car?
UK law outlines certain criteria for what makes a car a “classic” car – or a “historical” vehicle:
- The vehicle was first registered more than 40 years ago. This criteria is rolling. So at the time of writing, the cut-off point for registration is 1 January 1982. In 2023, the cut-off point will be 1 January 1983. In 2024, it will be 1 January 1984.
- No substantial changes have been made to the car in the last 30 years. You can read a full guide to what counts as a “substantial change” on the government’s website. But in short, they’re thinking about anything that affects the way the vehicle works. So a new radio or a sat-nav system may not make a difference. But replacing the chassis, body, axles, or engine probably will.
Insurers and collectors might have different criteria for what counts as a “classic car”. Some might specify that the car must have a certain value. Others might require that the car has some kind of historical relevancy – such as rarity, collectability, or nostalgic interest.
If you’d like to know whether your car meets the criteria to be a classic car, get in touch with a historic vehicle expert and check with your insurance company directly.
The Benefits of Driving a Classic Car – Tax, MOT, and More
If your car meets the government criteria we specified above, then you no longer have to get an MOT every year.
On top of this, you can also stop paying vehicle tax.
You must apply for vehicle tax exemption. And even if you’re not getting an annual MOT, you still have a legal requirement to keep your classic car in a roadworthy condition. Otherwise, you could face a fine of up to £2,500 and get 3 penalty points.
Car Insurance for Classic Cars
To get cover for your classic car, you’ll often have to meet some unique criteria as specified by the insurer, and this may vary depending on which insurer you speak with:
- Some insurers have their own definition of what counts as a classic car. While their definition may be similar to the government’s definition, they may differ slightly, so always check.
- They may specify low annual mileages, often between 2,000 and 4,000 miles for a classic car as the are often not used as the ‘main’ car.
- Some insurers may require you to keep your vehicle in a proper storage facility before they give you specialist classic car cover. A garage or a secure lock-up is ideal, but many insurers will also consider driveways.
Before you buy your insurance cover, speak to your insurer to ensure you get the right insurance in place.
Classic Car Insurance for Under 25s
If you’re under 25, or your car doesn’t quite meet the criteria for specialist classic car insurance, how can you get cover?
You could use an insurer that considers every car and every driver. At Go Girl, you can still get a quote for your classic car insurance even if you are under 25.